Early Years Update 10.06.2021

Email dated 10.06.2021

Dear Colleagues,  

Welcome to the latest Early Years update email. 

Now the summer weather has finally arrived, we do hope you are able to enjoy more time outside with your children. As the country is beginning to enjoy the emergence from some of the Covid restrictions, we would like to remind everyone that it is still vital to continue to follow the Government guidance  and the updated local guidance detailed below, to help minimise the spread of the Delta variant. We have been encouraged by the uptake of lateral flow (rapid) testing by our early years communities to date and want to thank everyone who continues to participate. This form of testing is quick, free and helps to pick up positive cases of the virus where people have no symptoms and are highly infectious. By identifying these positive cases early on, we can quickly enable people to self-isolate and cut off the chain of transmission. Alongside vaccination, testing is a vital tool in our arsenal to enable us to recover. Please do share the attached information letter with your families.

The EY sector is one of the unsung heroes of the Covid response and we applaud you all for your hard work and resilience in keeping your families and each other as safe as possible. The final summer term is always one of the busiest as we prepare to wave many of children off to school, and it is amazing to consider that this will be the second year that we do so under Covid restrictions. The Early Years team would like to thank you all for the wonderful support and care that you provide for children and families embarking on this important milestone in transitioning to school together.  

The Early Years sector is also busy implementing the EYFS Reforms and we hope you all had a chance to attend one of the recent Reforms briefings. The Bristol Early Years website has links to all the relevant documents slides and the briefing slides can be downloaded using the password REFORMS21 from here also. Although implementing change can sometimes seem daunting, we would like to reassure you that the Bristol Early Years team will be working alongside you with a range of resources and support over the coming months. Do look out for the latest Network CPD offer for this term as well as child development CPD to support the Reforms in the Autumn and contact your lead teacher for information.

The Early Years Team 


Public Health Covid Update for Early Years Settings

In Bristol, we are currently dealing with an increased level of cases of COVID-19 in our schools, which includes a number of cases of the Delta variant, first identified in India (VOC-21APR-02, lineage B.1617). National Public Health guidance has not changed; however, we encourage early years, schools and families to be extra vigilant during this time. 

In response to this increase in infection rates, BCC and Public Health Bristol are taking great care to track, trace and contain infection in line with our Local Outbreak Management Plan and national public health guidance, to make sure there is no further additional risk to the wider community. We are responding to an ever-evolving situation which means our Public Health teams must act quickly, effectively and flexibly.  It is so important at this time of gradual ‘unlocking’ and with a new variant in circulation, that we encourage our early years and school communities across the city to follow these key steps: 

  1. Education staff (and secondary school students) should continue to carry out twice weekly lateral flow (rapid) testing; this helps us to identify positive cases of the virus where people have no symptoms 
  2. Families should make full use of facilities across Bristol to carry out twice weekly lateral flow (rapid) testing for adults; parents, carers and guardians can collect tests from local pharmacies, Bristol collection sites or by ordering on GOV.UK 
  3. If anyone has symptoms of COVID-19 or gets a positive lateral flow (rapid) test result, they must self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test 
  4. Anyone who is self-isolating because they have been in close contact with someone who’s tested positive, should also book a PCR test to check whether they were also infected – however, they will still have to self-isolate for the full 10 days if they have a negative result 
  5. As ever, if children are not feeling well, please consider carefully whether they need to kept home, and if they or other family members develop COVID symptoms whilst at home, arrange a test 

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are: 

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back  
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours  
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal. 

About 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others. This is why lateral flow (rapid) testing is very important. 

For case notifications please continue to email then in through the usual route education.covid19reporting@bristol.gov.uk


Financial Support for Covid  

The Government has put in place a number of funding and financial measures to support organisations – both public and private – during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are intended to be temporary, timely and targeted, to support public services, people, and businesses through this period of disruption. The guidance sets out the financial support that is available for different types of education, early years and children’s social care providers in England and can be accessed here: 



EYFS Reforms 

The updated EYFS will become statutory from 1st September 2021.  

Following the EYFS reforms briefings at the end of May, a useful document of Frequently Asked Questions has been compiled and is attached to help settings with planning and implementation. Please read this carefully and look out for further supporting CPD in the Autumn term.


Free Network CPD 

The Network training offer for term 6 is now out with a great range of sessions to support staff wellbeing, outdoor learning, leadership, and practice.  

Please contact your Lead teacher for your locality offer. 


Wellbeing webinars for all Bristol parents & carers of children  


Bristol Educational Psychology Service would like to invite all Bristol parents and carers to attend a series of wellbeing webinars. These free, online, bitesize sessions are delivered live by an experienced psychologist and will feature a mix of useful content, engaging activities and practical tips and techniques to take away. Please consider including the attached flyer in your newsletters to parents. 


The sessions are standalone and will be recorded for those who are unable to attend. >>> Click dates to book your free place <<< 



Exploring the way our minds can generate anxiety and how it can dominate our day. We’ll look at different ways to relate to anxiety, leaving us with a bit more choice to pursue what matters to us. 


Tuesday 29th June 



Many times our own self-care can slip way down our to-do lists. Here we’ll explore the cultivation of a compassionate attitude towards ourselves and our wellbeing. 


Thursday 8th July 



We can spend up to 47% of our waking hours on autopilot – where our body is in one place and our mind is elsewhere.  Here we’ll explore and practice different ways to connect with the here and now for our well-being. 


Tuesday 13th July 




 Bristol Standard 

The Bristol Standard team has been very busy over the last few months. The digitalisation project has been moving swiftly along and the team has been redesigning our certificates and booklets. Online validation continues to work well and the team has been amazed at the quality of the submissions seen in the last year. Every submission has got through validation and the team reports they have felt very privileged to read about what everyone has done and how they have adapted during the pandemic. Many more settings have decided to do The Bristol Standard during the pandemic year keeping mentors very busy. It has been reassuring for practitioners to hold onto the Bristol Standard framework and the online folders have helped everyone to stay connected during challenging times. 

The newsletter and flyer for the next two meetings are attached to this email. 


Network meetings in June: 

Weds 16th June The Bristol Standard online new submission forms  

Weds 23rd June repeat of above 


Meetings for next academic year for your diary: 

Weds 29th September    TBSO plus introduction to BS for new people 

Weds 24th November     Dimension 4 + the new Outdoor Audit (NB to attend) 

Weds 12th January          Dimension 3 The Reflective Practitioner 

Weds 2nd March              Dimension 8 Equality Diversity and Inclusion 

Weds 15th June                Dimension 9 Partnership with Parents and the Community 



Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers 2021 


The Department for Education (DfE) is contacting some early years providers to invite them to complete a survey. We would like to confirm that this contact is part of the Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers 2021 and is a legitimate request that has been issued on behalf of the Department for Education. This research is very important to the Department and providers’ participation would be extremely valuable but is entirely voluntary. 


When contacting school-based and group-based providers the DfE does aim to limit calls to business hours unless an appointment outside of those times has been agreed, but this hasn’t always been the experience of some settings. If interviewers do call at a time that is not convenient for you, they are happy to call back at a time that suits you, so please do request this if you are contacted. 



Families Local Offer and Advice (FLORA)
FLORA (Families, Local Offer, Resources and Advice) provides information, advice, signposting and support for families who are in the early stages of identifying that their child may have additional needs. The FLORA team can help families navigate the services and support that is available to them, their family and child. Please do share the attached flyer with any families that you think might benefit from support and information services. 


Free Employability Training for Families
Families may be interested in a free 12-week training offer targeted at women. Please do share the Women’s Work Lab flyer with any interested parties.  The programme combines face-to-face expert training that fits around the school run (12-15 hours per week), with a formal work placement at a well-respected local employer. Training builds confidence through and offers the invaluable support of other women who will share the same kinds of experiences and ambitions. Applications for the September programme are now open and close 25th June.


Deborah Brown - (General Enquries)
Dawn Butler - (General Enquiries)
Nicola Theobald - (General and Nursery School Enquiries)